Jesus plus

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. – I Cor 2:1-5

Paul is giving instruction to a church. Among other things, there seems to have been some division on who the church was following. Some were saying they were better than others because the were baptized by this person or that. They were influenced by a certain person, so they must be better. They must be right.

Paul just lays it down. The messengers are nothing, the wisdom is nothing. The real deal is Jesus. Period. Nothing more.

The recent stuff with Ted Haggard has hit me pretty hard. I have met Ted, read a book he wrote, been to his church, even talked briefly one afternoon with one of his staff.

How does this all happen? Somewhere, I think we get wrapped up in the auxiliary stuff of Jesus and we lose focus. We focus on the books, the buildings, the systems, the degrees, the associations, the political agenda. We focus on the auxiliary stuff; the plus. We forget about Jesus. It was never meant to be Jesus plus. It was meant to be Jesus. Period.

Things like this can hurt us all. The more we put our faith in men and wisdom, the more it stings. Faith is to rest on God’s power. We are weak. He is strong. Maybe our Sunday school teachers had it right all along. Maybe we shouldn’t have left that theology when we graduated pre-school.

God, may I not trust in the wisdom of man. May I not encourage people to trust in my wisdom. More than anything, I want to know you. Not about you. With fear and reservation, I ask again; to know you.

[tags]Ted Haggard, devotions, New Life Church, 1 Corinthians, Paul, Bible, church, journal[/tags]

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2 thoughts on “Jesus plus

  1. In a test of multiple choices, your blog today would be “all the above are correct.” I too have read two of Pastor Ted’s books. To say I was shocked would be an understatment. But as a pastor I am forced to say, “That could have been me” or “that could be me.” It is so scary sometimes being “charged” with such a calling as a pastor has. The constant accolades. The attention (some wanted some not) The “idolization” of some. The exposure to satanic set-ups. The constant drain on time and emotions. The every present vulnerability being a man presents. The pride that comes from being “the man.”

    Being crucified with Christ is a daily essential as well as some other steps. But that still does not guarantee that I won’t try to “flesh” things i.e. try to do them on my own and not in the Spirit’s strength.

    A call to all: I am not condoning Ted’s actions. But please pray for your pastors- their emotions, spiritual health and family health. Pray for them to trust & rest in God’s power and not in their own.

  2. My small group and I were talking about this issue. And the word that comes up is Accountability. You know Ted was probably everywhere and didn’t have time to sit down and really talk about what was going on in his own life. He didn’t have that friend holding him up and challenging him to follow God. Looking at many leaders in the church we can’t always think that they have accountability person. We have to be a community that also ask our leaders the same questions they ask us.